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As a board member of Empower Generation, and a fan of IDEO, I'm really excited about this opportunity to collaborate to improve our work addressing energy poverty.

The women who lead solar businesses are motivated by the opportunity to address the real energy challenges their communities face, while also creating a way to earn their own income. They enjoy developing the entrepreneurial skills that increases their confidence and pay for improvements in their family's health and education.

While it remains a challenge for women in rural communities to be perceived with the same amount of authority and value as their male counterparts, we've been humbled by the tremendous social progress made by the women we work with in changing the status quo in their communities and disrupting social norms to promote gender equality.

While we've only been at it for a couple of years, we've witnessed significant outcomes, but more importantly have seen communities evolve their trust in our entrepreneurs and new solutions that are transforming their lives.